The Bruins left side in defense has become much stronger. Boston acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm in a Saturday trade from the Ducks; the deal was first reported by ESPN’s Kevin Weekes.
The Duck received a 2022 first-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick, and a 2024 second-round pick along with young defenseman Urho Vaakanainen and veteran John Moore. Anaheim also keeps 50% of Lindholm’s salary, which carries a cap of $5.25 million this season. Boston also received AHLer Kodie Curran.
TRADE: We acquired Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, a 2022 first-round pick and 2023 and 2024 second-round picks from Boston in exchange for Hampus Lindholm and Kodie Curran. https://t.co/MFaeiLVJma
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) March 19, 2022
Lindholm, 28, played 61 games for Anaheim this season, scoring five goals and 17 assists while adding 77 blocked shots and 55 hits. He averaged 22:32 on the ice.
Lindholm and the Ducks were working on an extension, but it was repeatedly reported that the two sides could not reach an agreement. General manager Pat Verbeek wanted to sign Lindholm on a five-year deal as the defender sought a seven- or eight-year contract.
When the two sides couldn’t agree on a deal, Verbeek dove deeper into trade negotiations. The result was a decision that benefits the Bruins. Lindholm reinforces a left side which has no real defender n°1. Instead, the team now has a solid line of Lindholm, Matt Grzelcyk and Mike Reilly, with Derek Forbort as another option, to play on the left.
Whether or not the Bruins sign Lindholm for an extension remains to be seen. The Bruins are reportedly interested in immediately working on an extension for Lindholm, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN. If they can’t, they’ve paid a high price for a rental. But if Boston can lock him in for the long haul, the club will have a solid top-four defense for this year and beyond.
Anaheim is getting a ton of draft capital, plus a promising young blue liner in Urho Vaakanainen, as the team continues to sell its pending free agents.
MORE: Ranking the top 20 trade targets teams could acquire by Deadline
Hampus Lindholm Business Details
- The Bruins get: Hampus Lindholm
- The ducks get: Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, 2024 second-round pick
Lindholm is on the decline, especially this season, but that’s largely due to the Ducks deteriorating as a team and Lindholm being paired with 19-year-old rookie Jamie Drysdale, who is an all-out rookie forward. liner with weaknesses all over its own area.
By switching to a competitor, Lindholm will have the opportunity to play with a more reliable partner. He plays well in all three zones and can play on the power play and shorthanded. No part of his game will surprise anyone, but he does everything well, which doesn’t leave a lot of holes.
Lindholm’s numbers are down (player card courtesy of @JFreshHockey), but you wonder if he’s getting a bit of a lift if he’s no longer on a couple D’s with a 19-year-old Jamie Drysdale. pic.twitter.com/xY6Fkt6Bz4
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) March 17, 2022
If coach Bruce Cassidy chooses to pair Lindholm with top defenseman Charlie McAvoy, he would have a great top-flight duo. McAvoy has become a top 10 defender in the league, and Lindholm will have more freedom in both areas knowing he has a reliable partner.
Cassidy could keep Grzelcyk and McAvoy together instead, pairing Lindholm with Brandon Carlo, allowing Lindholm to contribute more up front with Carlo, who stays at home, on his opposite side. Either way, Lindholm immediately improves Boston’s top four, especially in his own zone, as general manager Don Sweeney fills one of the team’s biggest needs heading into the playoffs.
The Ducks land three more high-end draft picks with the first this year and two second the next two draft picks. That’s great booty for Verbeek for an Anaheim team that’s heading toward a rebuild.
Vaakanainen has struggled with concussion issues for the past two seasons and is currently sidelined with an undisclosed injury. But he has shown promise of being an everyday NHL player in all 15 games played this season.
Moore is strictly a salary dump for Boston, but that’s what gave the Ducks an extra second-round pick. He’s at the end of his career and struggling to stay healthy, carrying a cap of $2.75 million this season and $2.25 million next season.